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Keep Those Lids Closed!

It might be inconvenient (and yes, sometimes icky), but it is necessary to keep the lid closed on carts and bins at all times.

Keeping the lid closed prevents trash from overflowing onto the ground, wind from blowing trash out, and critters from getting inside.

Keeping lids closed (or under a roof in an enclosure) prevents rainwater from mixing with bin contents and potentially entering the storm drain system when the bin is serviced or if the bin leaks (besides, wet trash is so much heavier!) and to prevent litter caused by trash being blown out of an open bin by the wind.

In case you hadn’t noticed, trash tends to smell.  That smell is due to the decomposition of organic material.  The only way to prevent the smell is to keep organics out of your trash (more about that in another section of this website).  Otherwise, keeping the lid closed is really the only way to keep the smell from migrating to other areas of your facility or to your neighbors’.  Everyone can appreciate a “not-so-smelly” Dumpster™!

Rats, birds, mongooses, flies, and bugs in and around your bin – yuck!   These critters look for food, water, and shelter in and around bins.  Rodent baits are sometimes ineffective (what rodent would eat a rodenticide bait block rather than the remains of somebody’s fried chicken dinner?!), so removing access to garbage will always be critical to eliminating a rat/rodent/vermin problem.  Clean dumpsters don’t attract rodents!

To prevent problems, follow these tips:

  • Don’t place loose food waste into the bin. Instead, food waste should be put into bags and tied off with a twist tie or similar. Wet waste should be wrapped in newspaper first. 
  • Think recycling – separating recyclable materials from the trash can control trash costs by reducing container size, weight, and collection frequency.
  • Rats can jump three feet vertically and four feet horizontally! Mice can run up concrete walls. Place bins as far away from walls and fences as possible. Place them on pavement rather than soil, because rats like to burrow in soil and underneath large objects.
  • Place (don’t toss) trash inside the bin, not around the bin.
  • Use bins with tight-fitting lids and keep them closed at all times. This prevents trash from overflowing onto the ground, wind from blowing trash out, and critters from getting inside. 
  • Use a locking lid (provided for an additional cost) on your bin to prevent scavenging and unauthorized use.
  • Choose the right type and size of bin for your needs, and don’t allow trash to overflow. If you need help, contact our office for help.  If our crews notice that your bins are frequently overflowing, we will contact you to “right-size” your service.
  • Bins should not be damaged, leaking, or rusted through, and the lids should close properly. Let us know right away if you need a replacement bin.
  • There should be no thick shrubbery around enclosures. Such plants might help conceal it from view, but they also conceal rodent burrows and accumulated garbage.
  • Make sure weeds or grass around a bin are trimmed close.
  • Clean under and around bins as often as needed, particularly after collection. Pacific Waste can only service the bin – not clean up whatever’s on the ground.
  • Bins should be washed out regularly, and whenever they smell strongly of rotting trash. Use high pressure and a degreasing solution. The liquid must be treated or captured prior to entering the storm drain system.  Or, call us to clean your bin for a small fee.
  • Drain holes should never be left open (except during cleaning). Plugs should be in place or the opening should be screened.

Remember: Sanitation is the single most important factor for rodent control. Keep trash bin areas clean and don’t host a “nightmare Dumpster™!”

Information used on this page was curated from DC and City of Cambridge, MA.